CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW 21
The Beekman 1802
Serves 6 to 8
The tomato was not widely accepted as a
food until the 19th century; now 93 percent
of American gardening households grow
tomatoes. This tart recipe will help you
make up for any lost time. Tomatoes and
creamy ricotta: good in pasta, great on
pizza, but perfect in a tart.
All-purpose flour, for rolling the pastry
1 sheet ( 7 to 8 ounces) frozen all-butter
puff pastry, thawed but still cold
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
3 cup chopped fresh basil
4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pound tomatoes, cored, halved and cut
▶ Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper.
▶ On a lightly floured work surface, roll the
pastry out to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle and
transfer it to the baking sheet.
▶ With a paring knife, score a border 1 inch
in from the edge all around the rectangle,
cutting into, but not through, the dough. With
a fork, prick the dough inside the border all
over (this is so the border will rise higher
than the center that’s been pricked). Brush
the center with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
▶ In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta,
goat cheese, eggs, basil, ½ teaspoon of
the salt and the pepper. Spread the mixture
over the center of the puff pastry sheet.
▶Top with the tomatoes, overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining
¼ teaspoon salt and the remaining
1 tablespoon oil.
▶ Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is
golden brown and the filling is set.
Reprinted from The Beekman 1802
Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook
by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.
© 2014 by Beekman 1802 LLC.
By permission of Rodale Books.
Available wherever books are sold.
purple love apples
sealed Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge’s
relationship. Kilmer-Purcell writes at
length about one of
their first dates, to
the farmers market
on Columbus Circle
in New York, where
they purchased the
irresistibly beautiful tomatoes with the
purple shoulders and ate them salted, on
the roof of his apartment overlooking the
city. So much of what they promote and
how they live is as simple a recipe as that:
Add a simple pleasure to a simple moment,
share. Serves two or more.
Kilmer-Purcell is the only man Ridge
has ever dated. They met in 2000. Online,
naturally. Living so publicly, the Beekman
boys have given voice to issues of gay
rights. Shown in bed together on The
Fabulous Beekman Boys, there has been
some groundbreaking stuff on TV. Much
was made in the media of their spontaneous kiss when they were announced as
winners on The Amazing Race. Ridge also
sometimes pens columns in the Gay Voices
section of Huffington Post.
“Brent is the most fearless human being
I have ever met,” Kilmer-Purcell said
about the character underlying Ridge’s
more reeled-in public personality.
It’s noted, wryly, that Ridge is living
many a Southern belle’s fantasy, a newlywed
returned home, appearing at the garden
expo, and the idea makes him laugh.
On his blog, Ridge waxes about the
importance of home and family. The
newest cookbook on vegetables is a
tribute to his grandparents. But his family
relationships are not always easy, given
his busy life and his relationship with
Hazelwood said she hadn’t seen him
since he was doing The Amazing Race.
She and her husband and their kids have
never been to Sharon Springs. Some of
her high school students saw him on The
Amazing Race and sometimes they ask her
about him. She pauses.
“He’s going to live his life the way he
wants to live it,” she said.
None of his family has made the two-
hour drive to see him in Charlotte. They
will come by an appearance in Greens-
boro, closer to
home, he assures.
“My mom is
a nice Christian,
Ridge said. “My
grandfather is the
kind of man who
literally speaks in
The TV show
has reflected the family awkwardness at
times. One episode showed a phone call
between Ridge and family in which,
despite Kilmer-Purcell’s encouragement,
he does not discuss their relationship. In
another episode, when they visit North
Carolina to pick up some sheep for Stew-
art, as they pass a highway exit leading
toward Ridge’s hometown, Kilmer-Purcell
encourages Ridge to drop in on his family;
Ridge declines, and his discomfort making
the decision is plain.
Despite the TV show, the book tours,
social media and all the other publicity
supporting the burgeoning Beekman
empire, despite his charm and general
neighborliness, there is a seemingly con-
tradictory side of Ridge noted in the
acknowledgements of his husband’s mem-
oir: “Brent is a private person.”
But that’s reality, too. Sometimes it’s
possible to be private in plain sight. Living
publicly this much, Ridge explained, you
show almost everything about yourself and
allow people to comment. You learn that
maybe what they think doesn’t matter so
Privately and publicly, Ridge advocates
taking pleasure in life’s work, slowing
down, getting to know the neighbors,
writing down their recipes, listening to
“You know, that’s what I really loved
most about practicing medicine,” he said,
a hint of wistfulness in his voice. “Older
patients, if you gave them enough time,
would almost always diagnose themselves.
They need to tell their stories.”
Everybody does, including Ridge,
and you can read his, one cookbook
recipe or Facebook post at a time, or
watch an episode, or all of them, on a
screen near you.
Mary E. Miller is a freelance writer based in
Living publicly this much,
Ridge explained, you show
almost everything about yourself
and allow people to comment.
You learn that maybe what they
think doesn’t matter so much.